Roasted Rabbit With Fava Pesto

Roasted rabbit with fava pesto

The Spruce / Pete Scherer

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1106 Calories
49g Fat
48g Carbs
104g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1106
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 244mg 81%
Sodium 735mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 13g 45%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 104g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 157mg 12%
Iron 11mg 60%
Potassium 1538mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you’re here because you’re an experienced rabbit cook looking for a hot new take on your favorite protein, this recipe is not for you. If, however, you’re feeling a little anxious because you’ve gone out of your way to procure a rabbit, and you’re not sure what to do, then let this recipe hold your hand. Of course, butchering any animal can be a bit intimidating, so you can always ask your meat purveyor to butcher the rabbit for you. If you'd like to try out something that is maybe a bit more challenging than your usual kitchen fare, though, then why not try your hand at butchering?

By simply roasting the pieces of the whole animal, seasoned only with salt, pepper, and a touch of acidity, you will experience the true flavor and texture of the meat itself. All other recipes for rabbit will make more sense to you, and your own culinary imagination will be set to work.

To guarantee success, it’s important to use a good instant-read thermometer so you don’t overcook the meat. And although it’s not difficult to butcher the rabbit, if you’ve never done it before, you may want to watch a video tutorial first.


  • 1 whole rabbit, about 2 1/2 pounds

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on garlic

  • 2 pounds fresh fava beans (in the pod)

  • 1 sprig fresh mint

  • 1 sprig fresh oregano

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • 1 cup dry white wine

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Set a pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.

  2. Butcher the rabbit into 6 pieces: 2 front legs, 2 rear legs, and 2 sections of loin or “saddle.” Set aside, allowing the pieces to come to room temperature.

  3. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small oven-safe pan, drizzle them with a little oil, and roast them for about 20 minutes or until softened and fragrant.

  4. Shuck the fava beans.

  5. Set up an ice bath near your stove. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the shucked favas for about 30 seconds in boiling water and remove them to the ice bath.

  6. Drain the blanched favas and separate the beans from their skins.

  7. Place the mint, oregano, rosemary, 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice, and roasted garlic into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to roughly chop.

  8. Add the fava beans to the food processor and pulse until the beans have been chopped into little pieces but haven't been pureed. Remove the mixture to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

  9. In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat.

  10. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn the pieces over and put the pan into the hot oven.

  11. After about 15 minutes, begin to check the temperature of the meat. Check the loin pieces first; they tend to cook through faster. When any individual piece of rabbit registers 160 F on your thermometer, remove that piece to a plate while continuing to roast the other pieces.

  12. When all pieces have reached 160 F, remove them from the pan. Remove the pan from the oven and set the oven to broil.

  13. Place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat, add white wine and reduce by half, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any yummy meaty bits.

  14. When the wine has reduced, put the rabbit back in the pan and return the pan to the oven, directly under the flame of the broiler, for about 1 minute or until the surface of the meat is sizzling and browned.

  15. Plate the rabbit pieces on top of a bed of the fava pesto, spoon the pan juices over the top, and serve.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.